Saturday, May 23, 2009

Eduardo Galeano's Newest Book

Here, shamelessly (and with authorization) copied from our friend's at Shelf Awareness (a great e-newsletter for people in the publishing and bookselling world) is a great piece about Galeano's new book, Mirrors: An Almost Universal History. Enjoy!

Here's the next chapter of the story that started last month during the Summit of the Americas, when Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez handed President Obama a copy of Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent--and thereby made the Eduardo Galeano book a bestseller here.

All the publicity, which was kind of a breakout for Galeano, a Uruguayan who is well known around the world but not in the U.S., has opened up new possibilities for Galeano's next book, Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone, translated by Mark Fried, which Nation Books, part of the Perseus Books Group, is publishing later this month.

The house has doubled its first printing to 20,000, and the pub date has been moved up to May 25. And because of the Chavez-Obama boost, Galeano's tour has changed. As John Sherer, publisher at Basic Books and Nation Books, put it, "Let's just say that it's been a little bit easier for publicity to book some of the mainstream media."

Even before President Chavez helped the sales effort, Nation Books had made Mirrors its lead book and had planned to bring Galeano to the U.S. for a tour. Sherer noted that "early reads from reps had been very strong, and the call reports from the field suggested that Mirrors might just be the book to finally make Galeano the household name he deserves to be. It was by far the book cited the most in their call reports."

Interestingly Galeano said he doesn't want to discuss Open Veins of Latin America on the tour because, among other reasons, he's "extremely proud of Mirrors and wants it to be the book American readers discover him through," Sherer added.

So far, Galeano's tour includes an appearance at BEA as well as readings at Politics and Prose in Washington, D.C., the Ethical Culture Society in New York, the Free Library in Philadelphia, Town Hall in Seattle, the Los Angeles Public Library, Berkeley's Arts and Lettters and the Lensic Performing Arts Center in Santa Fe, where he will be interviewed by Bookworm's Michael Silverblatt.

Nation Books calls Mirrors "a sometimes bawdy, sometimes irreverent, sometimes heart-breaking unofficial history of the world seen--and mirrored to us--through the eyes and voices of history's unseen, unheard, and forgotten. As Galeano asks, 'Official history has it that Vasco Núñez de Balboa was the first man to see, from a summit in Panama, the two oceans at once. Were the people who lived there blind?'

"Taking in 5,000 years of history, recalling the lives of artists and writers, gods and visionaries from the Garden of Eden to twenty-first-century New York and Mumbai, and told in hundreds of kaleidoscopic vignettes that resurrect the lives of the 'thinkers and the feelers, the curious, condemned for asking, rebels and losers and lovely lunatics who were and are the salt of the earth,' Mirrors is a magic mosaic of our humanity." (Shelf Awareness, April 18, 2009)
Interested? You can order a copy of "Mirrors" through our main website. Click here.


Recipes template by Emporium Digital. See more at